CHICAGO - The ECHL announced on Tuesday that the League's Board of Governors has approved the Membership applications of the Allen Americans, Brampton Beast, Missouri Mavericks, Quad City Mallards, Rapid City Rush, Tulsa Oilers and Wichita Thunder for admission to the ECHL.
The seven expansion teams will begin play in the ECHL this season, giving the League 28 teams in 20 states and one Canadian province for its 27th season of operation, which begins on Friday, Oct. 17 and runs through Saturday, April 11.
The applicants were approved at a special meeting of the ECHL Board of Governors in Chicago on Tuesday.
"The ECHL is very pleased to welcome these new Members to the League," said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. "These additions strengthen our base in the center of the country and give the ECHL, for the first time, a true national presence. It expands our ability to act as a development league and more closely aligns our number of teams with both the American Hockey League and the National Hockey League.
"There will be logistical challenges in the short term, however, in the long term, it is certainly in the best interest of the ECHL, the new Members and minor-league hockey in general," McKenna added.
Updates to the 2014-15 ECHL playing schedule, divisional alignment and the format for the 2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs will be released at a later date.
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